The Tech Museum of Innovation, a.k.a. “The Tech” is a special attraction in San Jose, California. With beginnings reaching as far back as 1978, The Tech has grown and evolved with the ever-changing Silicon Valley landscape and has been a de facto showcase for some of the best of Silicon Valley’s history and innovation. The museum consists of three floors of interactive, family-friendly exhibits that highlight the significance of technology in daily life, plus an IMAX theater. Many of the exhibits allow you to scan your ticket’s barcode, called the “TechTag”, to allow you to later log onto The Tech’s website to access more information and any photos, designs, and other mementos from your visit.
Over the past several years, The Tech has been expanding its focus on the intersection of technology, biology, and medicine. Last year, The Tech opened the BioDesign Studio which exposes visitors to the field of biotechnology and genetic engineering. It also opened the Innovations in Healthcare showcase to highlight advances in health technology and the innovation processes used to create them. The Body Metrics exhibit opened in 2014 and explores the significance of biometric data in health and the role that wearable sensors play. The Tech for Global Good display annually celebrates five innovators who are using technology to tackle big problems, with this year’s focus on global health.
Medgadget recently had the opportunity to visit to The Tech and check out the new Body Worlds Decoded exhibit that opened in October. Body Worlds Decoded is a new version of the popular Body Worlds exhibits that showcases actual donated human bodies that have undergone a special process called plastination to preserve them in specific poses.
Unlike the other Body Worlds exhibits, this one has a unique Silicon Valley twist: augmented reality (AR) technology allows visitors to explore additional 3D content to learn even more about their bodies in a new way. Visitors are given a Google Tango-powered Lenovo Phab 2 Pro tablet with a custom AR system called Iris to interact with the displays. As they walk around the exhibit, markers will appear on the screen which will become immersive CGI displays as they approach. Visitors can, of course, walk around and through the virtual display and tap on icons that will provide additional details and visuals. In addition to the plastinated bodies and AR displays, there are also plastinated transparent anatomical slices, organs, and organ systems, including some that have been impacted by disease. There’s also a live demonstration of the Anatomage Table that has been adopted by many of the world’s leading medical schools.
We won’t spoil the exhibit too much, but here are some snapshots from our visit:
The Tech is located in the heart of downtown San Jose, about an hour south of downtown San Francisco and is open daily. We highly recommend including a visit to this unique museum as part of your next trip to the San Francisco Bay Area!
More info: The Tech…